My amazing mom died on December 16 at 7:00am. The Crankee Yankee and I were on our way to see her, having been called by my dad earlier. He said that her breathing was getting labored and that we had better come soon. About 15 minutes later, he called again to say that she was gone.
As anyone who has watched a loved one decline at the end of their lives, there is a mix of grief and relief, sorrow and joy–joy for them to be able to leave their poor sick bodies and fly with the angels. Although I will miss her every single day of my life, I know that she is happy to be free and is able to be an influence for good in a higher realm.
Dad and I spent a lot of time talking about her, and alternately weeping and laughing. I made all the phone calls and wept with those who have loved her so well.
Mom and I planned her funeral months ago, and now everything is in place just as she wanted it. She had picked out her “going away” outfit, and asked for one perfect red rose to hold. Her hairdresser, Connie, who adored her, is doing her hair and I will be doing her makeup. Mom had a small collection of cards and letters from family and friends that she cherished. We decided to put them in the casket with her, surrounding her with all that love and affection.
Here is the obituary I wrote for her months ago (which she approved):
“Gloria Spaulding Bullock of Wolfeboro, NH, known to all as “Glo,” died peacefully and with the full knowledge that she had said, done and experienced everything she wanted to on December 16, 2015. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Ned Bullock, and her daughter, Jane (Bullock) Fraser.
Among her many accomplishments, she co-authored a children’s book, “Shopping at the Ani-Mall,” with her daughter, Jane, published in 1991 by Windswept House of Mt. Desert, ME. She also developed the genealogy of her relatives from the Feero line, “Christian Feero, Loyalist of New Brunswick,” published through Gateway Press, Inc. of Baltimore, MD in 1983. This
chronicled Christian Feero and his people from 1751 to 1983. All research was done by visiting libraries and graveyards, speaking with living relatives, collecting photos and handwriting everything; no computers, no Internet.
Glo was a beloved member of the Wolfeboro chapter of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO), and a regular at the Country Bookseller morning coffee and chat group. In her lifetime, she has been a wife, mother, saleswoman in the early days of WTWO TV out of Bangor, ME, managing editor for the Granite State News, business manager and partner for the
Ned Bullock Photography Studio in the summer, and Camp patrol in the winter, a ballroom dancer, writer, teacher, mentor, friend, advisor, excellent cook, Scrabble maven and jewelry designer. For the last 15 years she made and sold beautiful necklaces and earrings under her company name, Folie a Deux.
Glo had the great gift of knowing that her time on Earth was limited. With that knowledge, she was able to make her own decisions about her final days, speak and visit with all those she loved, and even pick out her last outfit. As she so often said, “This time is a GIFT! How lucky I am to have this wonderful time with my family and friends, and to say everything I want to say, to give away some of my things to those who will love and cherish them as keepsakes, and to leave a legacy of love and hope.”
One of Glo’s last requests is that any cards or notes sent to Ned Bullock or Jane Fraser be hand-written and NOT via email. Glo was a confirmed Luddite and never owned or used a computer in her life. She felt that nothing meant more than a hand-written card or note, and asks for everyone to please respect her last wish.”
It has been my privilege and pleasure to be her daughter and friend for every day of my life.